Smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming the go-to device for most of us today. Their portability, speed, and power of these devices fit in our increasingly on-the-go, interconnected world, in all aspects of our lives. Smartphone sales exceeded PC sales in early 2012 and continue to dwarf PC sales, which means that mobile, which includes phones and tablets, is now an integral part of any business communications strategy.
The range of mobile integration ranges based on your target audience and functional needs. However, one thing remains the same across all businesses: your website must be mobile optimized.
Mobile web browsing accounts for over 10% of all Internet usage worldwide, and this number will continue to increase as tablet and smartphone prices drop and adoption rises. People are accessing websites for work and leisure, but one thing is for certain; users expect their mobile experience to be as good as a desktop experience, and if they have a poor experience through mobile, your brand’s reputation is at risk. A reported 66% of mobile web users said they were disappointed in a brand with a poor mobile website.
Here are four critical steps to create a better mobile web experience:
1) It has to work.
Flash-based websites simply do not work on iOS devices (iPhone and iPad), driving users to competitor sites that do work. Current sites should consider HTML5 as part of standard web development and move away from Flash.
2) Mobile sites must load quickly.
Mobile users generally expect webpages to load as fast or faster than traditional sites, within five seconds or less. Many sites have heavy graphics or pages and pages of content that must load, leaving the user frustrated and often moving on to another site.
3) Design with mobile users in mind.
This goes beyond simply resizing content to fit the screen size to understanding how user behavior differs by device. Optimizing the mobile experience with a mobile website means reorganizing information in a way that makes it easy for users on the go to access quickly being mindful of data usage and connection speeds (read: smaller graphics, bulleted lists instead of paragraphs, touch-to-connect contact information)
4) Make it easy to interact with the mobile site.
Traditional website elements that work well with the click of a mouse, such as hyperlinks, small buttons, dropdown menus, and light boxes, become extremely frustrating to mobile users. Think interactivity when developing a mobile optimized site: large navigational buttons, touch-to-call, and GPS-enabled addresses to deliver an experience fit for the device.
Mobile is quickly becoming the channel of choice, regardless of industry. Now it’s up to businesses to deliver a quality mobile experience that meets users’ expectations.